6 River Fishing Tips

When river fishing, there’s nothing worse than not being in the mood. Fishing a river can be challenging when you’re on the ball, let alone when you’re off it, so keeping everything in check and your fishing tackle in order could save your sanity when your struggling to keep things together.

Here are 6 tips to keep yourself in the game, even on those off days.

  1. Make sure your kit is prepared the night before you go, there’s nothing worse than leaving a piece of tackle at home
  2. Prepare your flies – Never be caught short without your favourite patterns.
  3. Keep your fly vest organised
  4. Ensure you have all the parts to your rod… (Yeah – I’ve done it!)
  5. Clean your fly lines after each trip or so, that means they’ll perform just as well on your next trip.
  6. Dry your waders after every trip, nobody likes wearing damp, smelly waders.
Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall

Kieron Jenkins River Fishing

Kieron fishing on the River Ure, Yorkshire. Image courtesy of David Southall



Rivers International 2014


For the thirds consecutive year I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the Welsh international team which has won Gold at the rivers championship – And each one feels better than the last.

Fishing for your country is a pleasure and being part of such a strong team has its perks, you always learn of each other and watch how other anglers fish and approach a water – Which is what being in a team is about.

At dinner time, Wales were leading the field by 2 place points and we all went into the third session with renewed confidence. After dropping 4 place points in the third session, England were ahead going into the 4th session. But after a good last session for Wales we brought the score to a level playing field. The final score went on the accumulated number of fish points and we came out n top by just 8 points! That’s 8cm in length overall! An extremely close match, too close for my liking! For more of a report see here : Rivers International Report

Anyway, that’s enough about the scoring, lets move onto the fishing. When we fished the river Ure first of all the water was high, coloured and frankly awesome; we caught plenty of fish on all sorts of methods, with many fish being caught on dry flies in the slack water. When we arrived just a week before the match, the Ure was a totally different river. On it’s bones and still dropping throughout the week. As comp day approached much of the water was either dead slow – just like a still-water – and just a trickle at the head of the run.

Fishing the Ure Kieron Jenkins

Dries and nymphs was certainly the way to go, with many small grayling and decent trout occupying the middle of the the runs. As a team we put all our eggs in one basket and set out with one fly rod solely for dry fly fishing and the other, for a single nymph technique. My best nymph throughout the whole week had to be CDC Red tag and the Olive blob tail nymph. The Olive nymph also worked well with a bright orange bead – I must thank Toby at Funky Fly Tying for sending up a load of beads the day before the match – Saved our Ass!

For me, the competition was fairly tough, with some decent anglers in my group, and many lost fish, I managed a respectable 7th place position – Taking a 1st, 3rd, 4th and a 1st position in the four sessions. It didn’t help being drawn a mile away from the fish in the second half of the day, and having to hike back up stream to where the majority of the fish were!

As a team we fished extermely well together and I for one am extremely proud of each angler.

Next competition for me is the Lexus team comp and then the rivers trial the day after! Wish me luck :)

Float Tubing on Cwm Hedd

As the nights start to get longer, only just before they start getting short again, there’s plenty of light left to head to a river or pond after work. Fortunately for me – Cwm Hedd is only 15 minutes away and over the last two week’s I’ve managed to blow the float tube up and have a couple of sessions.

The evening fishing at Cwm Hedd has been brilliant with plenty of fish feeding from the surface. Most fish have been taking egg laying buzzers, keeping the fish extremely high in the water for prolonged periods of time. My favourite fly for these egg layers is a cull, pictured below. Fished on it’s own or in a team of two, with a red shipman’s buzzer on the dropper, these two flies have been taking the majority of my fish recently.


Just last night I managed two and lost two from the float tube in a 50 minute session. The cull doing the damage again. The fish were leader shy so de-greasing the leader regularly helped no end when trying to sink the leader in next to flat calm conditions.

*Don’t forget to toggle the quality*

Brown Trout fishing on the River Cothi

It’s not often I get the chance to fish purely wild rivers nowadays, mostly due to the fact that a lot of the rivers here in south Wales are stocked sometime through the season, even the upper reaches have fish introduced each year, with some stocked fish somehow finding their way upstream to non-stocked areas.

Considering the amount of river fishing I do and with countless invites from my good friend Steffan Jones to come down and fish, I finally took him up on the offer to fish the upper Cothi on the Wye and Usk foundation tickets. Gavin Perry and Steffan were late as usual, which left David Watkins and I waiting for well over an hour…

However, they soon turned up and before I knew it Gavin and I paired up making our way upstream from the junction of the Cothi and river Twrch. It was some time before any of us connected with a fish, im not sure if us walking on the high bank may have been spooking them or if it was Gavin’s angling ability, but he soon proved me wrong when we made our way into the first deepish run, taking two fish in consecutive casts using an hare’s ear jig he tied back in 2005!

Gavin Perry River Cothi Brown Trout

Gavin with a cracker from the Cothi

As most of you will know, fishing so far up the river system the fish aren’t going to be big at all, a 7/8 inch fish will be considered a large fish with the average being just a few inches. Catching such fish can give you great confidence in your own angling ability let alone for the future of the river. Although we didn’t catch many of the larger fish (pictured) we got many small fish, mostly on the nymphs.

Kieron Jenkins River Cothi Brown Trout

Myself with a 8 incher!

River Cothi Brown Trout

Another of the better fish….



Brown Trout on the Wurum

Do you ever get those days where you just have to get out fishing? You have absolutely nothing else to do but tie flies, the weather is dismal, most wouldn’t even venture outside to walk the dog, but you still decide to put on your chest waders and go fishing.

A few weeks ago I done just that. The day before we had some heavy rain, just enough to make things a little uncomfortable whilst wading, and to raise the river a few inches. More than I’d expected actually. I strung together the French leader and nymphed a few likely looking runs, the water was pushing hard and very little fly life appeared throughout the day. But the video below shows how fishing to the conditions can be very rewarding…

With the rising river many bankside bugs and larva can get washed into the water, with the worm being most common. It was only a week before I caught a trout just below an small inlet that actually had a worm hanging out of it’s mouth, so the worm went on and withing 10 chucks I managed to net this little beauty. 9 inches of perfectly wild trout from a secret location high up in the mountains.

The worm is big, nearly 4 inches long, but the movement it gives is unreal and the feel it has must be very much like the real thing… although I haven’t tried it… I really can’t wait to try the black ones!

Cwm Hedd Trout Lake

Over the last few weeks I’ve been fishing Cwm Hedd fishery a 7 acre lake just outside Newport. The fishing has been fantastic to say the least, and just a hop, skip and jump down the road, ideal to spend the last few hours of the day.

As I turned up at the lake I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Fish rising everywhere, literally anywhere on the lake that you looked there would be a fish rising – mainly to buzzers and midge. The risers however were fairly far out and getting a dry fly to turn over at 30+ yards would have been hard work, so I knocked the dry fly idea on the head and tackled up in my favourite corner opposite the lodge with a Fast Intermediate Airflo Forty Plus Expert Fly Line – one that I picked up earlier in the day after killing my previous one the weekend before.

It didn’t take long before I hooked my first fish, a feisty rainbow weighting around a pound and three quarters, on one of Col’s tinhead damsels.

Linda and I managed to get most of the fish caught on camera, so keep your eye out for more videos such as the above!

More information about Cwm Hedd


Carp off the surface!

One of the most exciting things I’ve caught on a fly rod has to be a carp. The build up to actually hooking the fish is very intense. Actually getting the fish to feed from the surface on what looks like an empty lake as they sulk on the bottom can be electrifying. Recently Terry and I stumbled across a small lake (which never gets fished) full of smallish carp up to around 6/7lb – And the owner was nice enough to let us have the last hour until dark with our fly rods.

Recently I’ve been trying out the New Airflo  Super-Stik fly rod. It features a deep red colour and is available in many lengths and weights – I’ve got the 9′ 6″ #6/7 and have been using for all my small-water stuff, and chose it have a crack at these carp  – and im glad I did! It’s not easy casting a lump of foam – well. Putting it exactly where you want can be tough, especially in this instance as a brisk sidewind made things a little tricky, but the Super-Stik performed well and the accuracy you can get with ‘the stik’ is unrivaled in my eyes for the money. Anyway, enough about the rod and more about the fish.

We managed to blag a couple of slices of bread from the fishery owner, brand unknown, and hurled them into the pool. We threw the bread in at regular intervals creating patches of food for the fish to feed on, our thinking was that wherever they were in the lake, we would find them quicker with multiple sections of feed – and it seemed to work as the far right hand side of the lake was the first to see any action.

Distinguishing three different fish feeding at once, all were just out of reach, this called for more bread, creating a trail out into the middle of the lake was all that was needed to tempt the fish closer. Before the fish could make their way any closer I pitched a cast just above the bread trail, hoping mine would float down with the wind and be one of many piece the fish would eat.

Within 20 seconds or so a fish had locked onto the trail and was making its way towards my offering, a foam bung which I had cut down in size. Those lips appeared and gently engulfed my fly… From past experience you MUST leave a carp eat it and not strike as soon as you get any indication of a so called ‘rise’. So giving the fish a couple of seconds I struck and hooked into this magnificent looking fish I estimated around 4lbs in weight?

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp